So, have you watched the movie?
Short summary here –
Guy with Cancer diagnosis goes on a long trip, does some discovery along the way.
There were some deep thoughts in the movie that really catch the thought process and attention.
I reviewed my previous one week posts, to ensure I didn’t achieve very much duplication. I won’t – this post will delve deeper into the heart of the thoughts that go through a cancer patients mind.
One of the movie themes is – why?
Why did Joshua Jackson’s character need to take the trip.
I understood the feelings and sentiments.
Why go on a long motorcycle trip? The reason is simple – because I can.
As I have been going through Cancer treatments, many parts of my life have been put on hiatus, and many thoughts and dreams that I had of the future, are cloudy, fading, or have outright disappeared. I have in the past mentioned that if your future was written on an etch-a-sketch, give it a good shake.
Why do I need to?
To accomplish a task.
Making an epic trip that many people who aren’t in a Cancer battle can’t or won’t do, is an achievement. Like the country song – Live like you were dyin’ – it becomes about items like the bucket list. Some people jump out of planes, some travel the world, and sometimes you take an epic motorcycle trip. Sometimes it becomes an “all of the above”.
As I type this right now, I am over 3 years into this journey, and just finishing treatment 24, which is number 3 of this BCG session. Then I will have 6 months recovery before the cycle repeats itself. I have grown better at understanding my body language, physiology, and impacts. I used to be more active at the beginning of treatment sessions – because I felt fine. I have learned that I need to be less active and conserve better during the process, so that I have better energy approaching the 3rd treatment of the session… this conservation allows me to do better through the entire treatment session. Of course, with the early 2018 treatments being the last scheduled treatments in the entire known treatment regime, I am finally figuring this out, in time to be complete – for now… 60-80% recurrence rate always in the back of my mind.
Back to the movie comparison – I want to accomplish things that most won’t do, because I know that there will be times like this that all I should do, or can do – is sit quietly in a comfy chair with a nice breeze coming in the window. In the movie, that is the thought – do something, before “all that you can do” is sit in a comfy chair with a nice breeze coming in the window. His tale has worse odds than I do – but the fact remains that many cancer patients give up on life.
I don’t wanna be like that.
In my first post about “One Week” was 2015, I posted some photos of “big things”… just like the movie, 2016 – I came home with my tail between my legs – exhausted. So, 2017 was a different plan – I went before my summer treatments started, so that energy levels were as good as they were going to be before treatment. That helped.
The trip to Yellowknife is a achievable in one day – I have a few hard ass friends that can/will do that (Martin/Bob – looking at you), but I took 2 days, staying at High Level Alberta to prevent over extending myself. Even though I can go further, I didn’t want to start treatments excessively tired, so I made the trip into manageable pieces.
On a trip like this, you get a lot of time for your brain cells to bounce around the empty space in the helmet, contemplate things like short term plans, long term plans, what do I want to be when I grow up, and where can I live/should I live. The challenge with these thoughts, is which plan is achievable, realistic or downright foolish. Well – 700+ kms to think about all the possibilities is pretty good – with occasional sudden avoidance manoeuvre around a pile of bison dung in the middle of the road, or the large splat of the great big bugs.
Off on a tangent here –
One of the big things that happens for cancer patients are people with opinions. Many people are well intentioned, some are idiots, the rest are well intentioned idiots. The opinions on how I should live my life that I have received can be entertaining, sometimes a person has no clue about a subject but will tag me in every single Facebook post they read that has the word CANCER in it – because I probably want to read it, and it will change my life. The anti-chemo crowd are the funniest. They have a conspiracy theory that cancer is a made up diagnosis, and the cure is buried in a Peruvian jungle, but being suppressed by big pharma, and I should have nothing to do with it. They then don’t know how to react when I tell them that TB is being used to treat me with Immunotherapy.
I have researched and read more information about Cancer than many doctors probably have. The only people who have read more than I – would be oncologists, and other anal retentive cancer patients like me who research everything.
Either way, people have opinions on how I should live my life. Many of them would be the type I suspect that if faced with a diagnosis of this magnitude, would curl up in a ball on their bed and wither away.
I will not wither.
That is the main point – I don’t need a reason to do things. I want to do things, so that I can do things, because I can do things, while I have the capability to do things.
There are a few opinions that I value greatly. But like the movie, I may not do what others want.
A friend recently posted video on his social media about skydiving (aka jumping out of a perfectly good airplane). Reactions to this post have varied from WHY? to LETS DO THAT AGAIN!
I hope that my small amount of video footage turns out, and if nothing else a video of a photo montage will be posted on my YouTube channel. All this to show that I was there, on my bike, for the shortest night of the year. Because I could go.
I don’t know where I will go next year, but I have some ideas. Thanks for following along on my mis-adventure.